Local and State News

8:39am

Mon March 10, 2014
Local and State News

Gov. Martinez Signs Community Health Workers Act

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Legislation that would create a state certification program for all community health workers in New Mexico will become law.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed off on the legislation Sunday afternoon after participating in a discussion with several health workers in Albuquerque.

The bill creates voluntary community health worker training that would be the standard statewide.

Martinez says community health workers are an important piece of the health care workforce, particularly in rural and underserved areas of New Mexico.

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8:37am

Mon March 10, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Gay Married Couples Ready for Tax Time

(Information in the following story is from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Some same-sex couples in New Mexico will get to experience for the first time what married couples go through every spring — sorting through joint tax returns.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that this year married gay couples will be able to file jointly.

Santa Fe County Commissioner Liz Stefanics and Linda Siegle, a lobbyist for Equality New Mexico, say they are happy about filing jointly because it will mean a bigger tax refund.

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9:34am

Fri March 7, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Girl Sentenced for Killing Foster Mom

ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — A 17-year-old girl who pleaded guilty in the killing of her foster mother in her southern New Mexico home now faces roughly 10 years in prison.

District Court Judge James Counts on Wednesday sentenced Alexis Shields to 30 years in prison but suspended 17 years of the sentence.

The Alamogordo Daily News reports the remaining 13 years of the sentence will be reduced by the 999 days that Shields has spent in custody since Evelyn Miranda was killed in June 2011.

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9:33am

Fri March 7, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Lifts Tax from Aircraft Maintenance

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico will no longer tax parts and labor for maintaining aircraft under a new law taking effect in July.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed the tax break into law on Thursday along with a measure to establish a one-stop online portal in state government that will allow businesses to pay fees and file forms, such as licensing applications to operate in New Mexico.

The website portal is to be operating by July 2017. Currently, a business might have to deal with several agencies, potentially going to their physical offices or their individual websites.

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9:33am

Fri March 7, 2014
Local and State News

Sexual Assault Suit Woman Suing Former New Mexico Parole Officer

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico has filed a lawsuit against the state Corrections Department and a former probation officer accused of sexually assaulting a woman.

Gordon Chavez was sentenced this week to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty in September to a civil rights violation.

The ACLU's suit filed on behalf of a parolee who alleges that Chavez violated her constitutional rights.

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9:32am

Fri March 7, 2014
Local and State News

Few Attend Town Hall on Mishap at Nuke Dump

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Few people attended a town hall meeting Thursday as the U.S. Department of Energy released more information on its efforts to recover from a radiation leak last month at the nation's only underground nuclear waste dump.

Several dozen residents, workers, elected officials and others turned out for the evening meeting, but the large auditorium at the edge of town was nearly empty.

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9:31am

Fri March 7, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Water Official Tapped for Federal Job

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico water official has been selected by President Barack Obama to run the Bureau of Reclamation, which manages dams, reservoirs and hydroelectric power plants across the West.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell issued a statement Thursday praising the president's plan to nominate Interstate Stream Commission Director Estevan Lopez as commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Lopez will administer an agency with a $1 billion budget and more than 5,000 employees.

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10:15am

Thu March 6, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Governor: Tone Down Political Rhetoric

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is calling on political opponents to tone down harsh rhetoric and asking that critics of President Barack Obama respect his office despite political differences.

The Republican rising star and nation's only Latina governor made the remarks Wednesday during a conference call with reporters on GOP efforts to recruit more women and minority candidates.

Her comments come after the president of a prominent Latino advocacy group called Obama the "deporter in chief."

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10:13am

Thu March 6, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Police Chief: Curriculum To Be Released

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — State Police Chief Pete Kassetas says the Department of Public Safety soon will release new state police training material critics say gives officers more leeway to use deadly force.

Kassetas told The Associated Press on Wednesday drafts of the material will be released next week. But he said a small portion will be redacted since it deals with sensitive tactical training and could put officers in danger if it is made public.

The draft of the new curriculum still needs approval from the Law Enforcement Academy Board.

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10:12am

Thu March 6, 2014
Local and State News

California Fugitive Is Arrested in New Mexico

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Authorities in New Mexico have arrested a man who's accused of postal theft in California.

Dona Ana County Sheriff's officials say 44-year-old Jose Manuel Guerra was taken into custody Tuesday in Anthony.

Federal agents with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service say Guerra had felony warrants that stemmed from allegations that he burglarized several post offices in Los Angeles County.

Authorities say Guerra had several stolen checks, debit cards and credit cards in his possession when he was arrested.

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10:11am

Thu March 6, 2014
Local and State News

Feds To Update Public on Mishap at Nuke Dump

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy is planning a town hall to release more information on its efforts to recover from a radiation leak at the nation's only underground nuclear waste dump.

Residents from throughout the Carlsbad area are expected to attend Thursday's meeting.

Questions about what caused the leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the extent of the contamination and the future of the federal government's national nuclear cleanup efforts have been swirling for weeks.

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10:10am

Thu March 6, 2014
Local and State News

DOE: No Health Risks for Exposed Nuke Dump Workers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Energy says further testing shows employees who were exposed to radiation during a leak at the nation's only underground nuclear waste dump aren't likely to experience any health effects.

The agency and the contractor that operates the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad made the announcement Wednesday.

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9:57am

Mon March 3, 2014
Local and State News

Albuquerque Man Indicted on Tax Evasion Charges

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — An Albuquerque man has been indicted on tax evasion charges for failing to pay his personal income taxes for four years.

A grand jury for the Second Judicial District in Albuquerque returned an indictment Thursday against Robert Giles on four counts of tax evasion charges.

He is accused of not paying personal incomes taxes between 2008 and 2001.

Prosecutors say the 62-year-old owes more than $4,500 in back taxes, interest and penalties.

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9:56am

Mon March 3, 2014
Local and State News

Police Search for Teen Last Seen At Youth Facility

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico authorities are searching for a teenage boy who went missing from a youth facility that provides counseling and other assistance.

New Mexico State Police say 17-year-old Mauricio Acosta was last seen Saturday morning after being dropped off with another client at the Boys Reintegration Center in Albuquerque.

Officers say Acosta disappeared before he was scheduled to be picked up.

Acosta was wearing a pink polo shirt, black jeans and gray Jordan shoes.

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9:55am

Mon March 3, 2014
Local and State News

Ban on Texting While Driving To Become NM Law

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A proposal to ban texting while driving in New Mexico has become a state law.

Gov. Susana Martinez signed the bill Sunday afternoon while at the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque.

The proposal will prohibit drivers from sending or reading text messages and emails, or making Internet searches from smartphones or other hand-held wireless devices. There would be a $25 fine for a first violation and $50 for subsequent violations.

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8:29am

Fri February 28, 2014
Local and State News

Probation for Ex-Head of Alb Metro Crime Stoppers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The former chairman of Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers has pleaded guilty to drunken driving.

Pat Davis was sentenced Thursday to six months of probation and ordered to have an interlock device put on his car.

KOB-TV says Davis also will have to complete DWI school and community service.

Davis was arrested on suspicion of DWI last July and stepped down from his position with Crime Stoppers.

His one-year term would have expired in September.

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8:25am

Fri February 28, 2014
Local and State News

New Mexico Flu Vaccination for Children Above US

ALBUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has a flu vaccination rate for children significantly above the national average.

Federal figures show that 67 percent of New Mexico children 17 and younger were vaccinated for flu during the 2013-2014 flu season, compared with 57 percent nationally.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points to a New Mexico program that immunized 51,000 school children.

Federal funding largely paid for dispensing about $860,000 worth of vaccine by school and state personnel this season.

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8:24am

Fri February 28, 2014
Local and State News

NM Senators Back Effort To Secure Water Resources

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's U.S. senators are backing legislation they say would help conserve water and promote sustainability.

Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich say the measure would expand grants and increase federal funding for conservation and drought-mitigation projects. It would also provide resources for collecting data and analyzing water supplies and use.

The bill was introduced by Democrat Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii. It's scheduled for a hearing Thursday.

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8:23am

Fri February 28, 2014
Local and State News

Nuclear Dump Leak Raises Questions About Cleanup

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — For years, plutonium-contaminated waste has been sent to what is supposed to be a safe resting place a half mile underground in New Mexican salt beds.

But accidents and an above-ground radiation release have shuttered the government's only deep underground nuclear waste dump indefinitely.

That is raising questions about a cornerstone of a $5 billion-a year-program for cleaning up waste from decades of nuclear bomb making.

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8:22am

Fri February 28, 2014
Local and State News

13 Were Exposed To Radiation at New Mexico Plant

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials say it is too soon to speculate about the health effects a radiation leak at the nation's underground nuclear waste dump might have on workers.

The U.S. Department of Energy and the contractor that runs the Waste Isolation Pilot Project Wednesday confirmed that 13 workers who were above ground the night of the leak have tested positive for radiation exposure. And they say more workers are being tested.

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